Welcome Message from DG Connect: Building a common digital future that empowers everyone

by Rita Wezenbeek, Director Connectivity and Thibaut Kleiner, Director, Policy, Strategy and Outreach, DG Connect, European Commission

Rita Wezenbeek and Thibaut Kleiner

It is our great pleasure to welcome you to the Digital Compass Community! Thank you for joining us. As a member, you will have the opportunity to engage in discussions about Europe’s Digital Decade, identify priorities and challenges, showcase best practices, and share ideas about the digital future you want for the European Union.

The Digital Compass maps a new path for EU digital strategy – towards a more inclusive, more sustainable and more prosperous digital future by 2030. This strategy puts European cooperation at its center: Our ambitious objectives can only be achieved through close cooperation between the European institutions, Member States, and public and private stakeholders.

The COVID-19 crisis calls for a new framework to empower everyone in Europe to benefit from the digital transformation. When the pandemic shifted large parts of our social and economic lives online, it exposed vulnerabilities in our digital environment and widened the gap between people who can navigate it and people who cannot.

The Digital Compass seeks to meet these challenges by charting a European Way for the Digital Decade along four cardinal points: digital skills, digital infrastructures, the digital transformation of businesses, and the digitalisation of public services. It will set up a robust governance structure to track progress towards concrete targets under each cardinal point through a traffic light system and annual reports enshrined in EU legislation. Deviations will trigger a collaborative process between the EU and Member States to identify measures needed to get back on track and commit to joint actions. The Compass will also include a mechanism to mobilise and combine investments from the EU budget, Member States and the private sector to scale up our collective digital capacities.

We think of the Digital Compass as a tool to reach the objectives of the Digital Decade – and ensure that the path to get there follows our shared European values. Similarly, you may think of this Community as a forum to express your priorities for the Digital Decade – and ensure that the path to get there is informed by your personal experience and expertise. Your insights as citizens, innovators, builders, investors, and regulators will be crucial for paving the way for a digital future that empowers everyone.

Europe’s Digital Decade is your Digital Decade. Let’s start building it together today!

On 22 June, we have also launched a consultation to collect targeted feedback and input for the Digital Compass policy programme, which we will propose to the European Parliament and Council later this year. You can reply to the consultation here until 3 August, and use this forum to discuss your ideas, experiences and insights in in more detail.

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